Third Tuesday – maybe on a Tuesday, but rarely on a Third Tuesday

What’s in a name? Well, if the name of the event is Third Tuesday, it definitely doesn’t mean that the event will be held on the third Tuesday of the month.

Every month in cities across Canada, including Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, and Calgary, Third Tuesdays offer participants a chance to meet and hear from thought leaders about the evolution of social media, online community and their impact on our relationships with one another and societal institutions.

Third Tuesday is unique both in its longevity – five years and counting – and the fact that it brings these speakers not just to one city, but to cities across the country. In effect, it has become digital Canada’s national meet up.

But still, after five years, people often ask me why Third Tuesday rarely occurs on a third Tuesday. Well there’s a simple answer.

When we first organized Third Tuesday, we selected the name not because the meetings were intended to be on a third Tuesday (in fact, the first meeting was held on a Monday in Ottawa), but because the term Third Tuesday carried no meaning or association. We didn’t want to be limited to a discussion of any one technology or development. A name like Third Tuesday gave us an opportunity to allow the focus of Third Tuesdays to evolve over time.

We are not partial to any particular technology or line of thought. We follow the evolution of online communications, with an emphasis on how people use them for communication, collaboration, and community building. If anything, our perspective is a combination of anthropology and sociology with technology. It’s not about the latest shiny new object. It’s about what people want to do and how technology is removing the barriers that prevented them from doing it.

So, if you see a Third Tuesday organized in your city and it’s on the second Tuesday or the first Monday for the fourth Wednesday, don’t be surprised. But do consider joining the discussion. No previous knowledge required. Just bring your curiosity and an open mind.

Thanks to Doug Lacombe, the organizer of Third Tuesday Calgary for his retake on the #3TYYC logo that I’ve used in this post.

Meet RichardAtDell at Third Tuesdays in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver

RichardAtDell is coming to Canada next month to speak at Third Tuesdays in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver. We’ll lead off with Third Tuesday Toronto #TTT on Monday, November 8, Third Tuesday Ottawa #TTO on Tuesday, November 9, Third Tuesday Calgary #CTT on Wednesday, November 10 and Third Tuesday Vancouver #TTV on Thursday, November 11.

Dell is one of the best known and longest standing case studies of the successful use of social media. It might well not have turned out this way. In fact, Dell was one of the early examples of a company on the receiving end of viral criticism and anger. Rather than go into a shell or attack its critics, Dell chose to enter the social media discussion, learn from it, win friends, and gradually turn things around. Today, Dell uses social media for many purposesw, including to connect with customers, build brand and as a retail channel.

RichardAtDell, aka Richard Binhammer, has been from the outset one of the constants in Dell’s social media presence. I first experienced Richard’s outreach as far back as 2006 when he commented on a post on my blog in which I’d written about a presentation by Robert Scoble in which Scoble had recounted the story of Jeff Jarvis’ upset with Dell. Richard reached out to me at a time when my blog had relatively few subscribers, acknowledging their problems but asking me whether I’d be prepared to acknowledge the efforts they were making to listen and act upon what they were being told. I was blown away just by the fact that a company at the other end of the continent would pay attention to me, let alone actually acknowledge me by coming into my place, my blog, to have a discussion. And yes, that made me a fan of RichardAtDell and Dell’s approach to social media.

Well, it’s not 2006 anymore. A lot has changed. And RichardAtDell has been there to experience the evolution of social media first hand. As the saying goes, he’s forgotten more than many of us ever will learn.

I hope that you’ll join us at Third Tuesday to hear from one of the leading corporate social media practitioners as he talks with us about the journey he’s been on, the path we’re following, and where he sees things going in the future.

Look for details and registration info in the next few days on each of the Third Tuesday Ottawa #TTO, Third Tuesday Toronto #TTT, Third Tuesday Calgary #CTT, and Third Tuesday Vancouver #TTV websites.

Thank you to our sponsors.

Once again, I’d like to thank our sponsors – CNW Group, Rogers Communications, Radian6, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Your sponsorship makes it possible for us to bring great speakers not just to Toronto, but to Third Tuesdays across the country. You make third Tuesday a truly Canadian affair.

To whet your appetite

If you’re not familiar with the Dell story and RichardAtDell, you can get a taste of what we’ll be talking about at Third Tuesday by watching this video. Enjoy.

Things that keep me awake … at Third Tuesday Calgary

Third Tuesday social media meetupI’m getting a chance to visit old friends in Calgary early in March. And they’ve been nice enough to ask me to be the speaker at Third Tuesday Calgary.

I’ll be arriving the previous afternoon from Sydney, Australia  and also will have spoken to another group at lunch. So, I’ve kept the promise and, hopefully, the expectations of my performance modest with a session description that I hope will spark some good discussion among participants once I’ve kicked it off. Here’s the description from the Third Tuesday Calgary meetup site:

Things that keep Joseph Thornley awake at night…

Joseph Thornley will lead a different type of Third Tuesday Calgary discussion. What are the issues relating to social media that you keep coming back to? What are the ones that just haven’t been put to bed yet?

He’ll prime the discussion by sharing with us the things that keep him awake at night:

Twitterquette: How much honesty is too much? Can you make a critical point in 140 bursts? Or is better not to?

Social Media’s relationship with Mainstream Media: (Yes, that again.) MSM takes pride in the editorial function. But is that still a factor when both the CBC and the Globe and Mail use CoverItLive to provide real time coverage of events like the Federal Budget and President Obama’s visit to Ottawa?

Measurement: Are we what we measure? If that’s the case, what is social media?

Fragmentation: It’s not about blogging anymore. Social media tools have proliferated. And as they have, our presence has fragmented into shards spread around the social media scape. How do I stay in control of my own social media presence in this fragmented environment?

The social media creation gap: Canadians lag behind Americans in creation of social media content. According to Forrester’s Social Technographic profiles, the number of online Canadians who are creators, critics or collectors is only half that of Americans who do the same things. Will we continue to be able to see ourselves in social media if this trend persists?

If you’re in Calgary on March 4, I hope you’ll come out to Third Tuesday Calgary and participate in the discussion. You can register online to attend.

Thank you to @andrewmcintyre for organizing this event. And as always, thanks to all the good people at CNW Group, who continue to support Third Tuesday as our national sponsor.

Join us at an Informal Third Tuesday Calgary Social Media Meetup

Third TuesdayBrendan Hodgson and I will be in Calgary to speak at a Canadian Institute Conference on Social Media on September 24 and 25.

The prior evening, September 23, we’re planning an informal Third Tuesday social media meetup. We’re hoping to meet folks from Calgary who are interested in talking about the evolution of social media and how Calgary communicators, developers, marketers and designers are adopting and adapting it to serve their needs and those of their communities.

So, if you plan to be in Calgary on September 23 and you’re interested in an evening of discussion with others who share your interest in social media, register to attend at the Third Tuesday Calgary meetup group.

UPDATE: Kate Trgovac will also join us. She’s in Calgary on September 23 to present a day long workshop on social media.